Here are 6 key ways to improve your old blog articles for readers, and breathe new life into your momentum on Google. Identify a handful of articles you could improve, that people are searching for, and invest 15-30 minutes in each.
We’ve all got old content laying around on our website. But don’t dismay—it’s not all trash-worthy. Many of them might be ready to grab new traction online if you run them through a quick content refresh. It will go further than you think!
Even Ahrefs admits there is always room to improve—without writing new stuff every week:
“Not every blog post you publish will rank in search engines. Even if you’ve done keyword research and written great content, it’s not always possible to get things right on your first attempt.”Ahrefs
Now, let’s dive in.
1. Edit the Headline, Page Title, & Meta Description
You might have a blog post that is top-notch, current, and getting impressions on Google (but no clicks).
If that’s the case, you need to focus on improving your page title and meta description. When people run across your article in Google or other search engines, this is all they see. So, you’ve got to make it good. If you don’t, then Google robots fill in whatever text they want.
Do you really want a robot explaining the meaning of your words to potential customers?
2. Improve Content Structure for Readability
Long pages of endless paragraphs overwhelm readers. They want to jump ship as quickly as possible. This drives your bounce rate (people leaving immediately) through the roof).
Give them some quick momentum with a good intro sentence that proves they’re in the right place. Use a short intro paragraph, and provide plenty of well-organized subheads. This will help skimmers quickly find the area that most interests them, and decide it’s worth actually reading.
Also, look for any areas where you can condense several sentences down into a quick bullet list. If you don’t lose any meaning, trim out the fluff and make it easier to read. Make reading your article feel more like fun—and less like work.
Your title earns the click. A great intro sentence and proper structure earn their 3 minutes of reading.
3. Add Related Videos or Images to Your Article
The simple truth is, our brains would rather look at pictures (or moving pictures) instead of words.
I’ll bet your business has some great photos related to your topic. Drop a couple of these in to break up the text and make it a more interesting read. Gain trust with your audience by showing that you’re just like them, and understand what they are looking for.
If you’ve got a library of Youtube videos this is the perfect time to embed a short one on this topic. Some people would rather watch a video anyway! And, Google loves when readers pause, click on your video, and watch a minute or two. This shows the search giant that people really do care about your article, and they’re stopping to learn something from it.
The key is to make sure the visual content you’re adding always provides more value to your intended reader. The visual content can be personal, funny, or sobering—but it needs to be intentional.
It MUST be consistent with the purpose of the article, or you will confuse readers and they’ll move on (and never come back).
4. Build Credibility for SEO Authority
The reader needs to have a reason to trust your words.
This is especially true if you’re stating something as fact, or teaching the reader something new. Don’t worry if you don’t have a personal story that explains your experience and expertise. You can use the credibility of others and distill that knowledge down for your readers.
Here are a few quick ways to build trust in your article:
- Include data from reputable sources in a graph (link to the source).
- Add a quote from an expert in the industry.
- Embed a tweet from a well-known person that supports your point.
- Add a screenshot of a testimonial from a happy client.
You can build more trust with people by deferring to the experts and letting others speak for you. Then, your people will take notice and start listening (reading) more closely.
5. Offer Helpful Resources
Your readers want the easy button.
They don’t care how much you know. They want to solve their problem. So, find a way to give them that easy button within your article. Is there a quick checklist that you can offer in a free PDF? Or, could you draft up a worksheet with helpful questions in 5 minutes?
You might even find an area to include a list of links to the tools, further resources, or mini-steps they need to use. Focus on linking to articles on your own site if you have the right content. But, don’t be afraid to send them out to a reputable source if it helps the reader.
Including extra resources shows you’re serious about giving them a helpful solution.
6. Give Them the Next Step
Don’t botch your conclusion and leave your reader hanging.
If someone actually reads your blog post and reaches the bottom, that means they’re ready for the next step. Give them a call to action that’s more than a “good luck, see you later.” This is the prime area to offer your newsletter sign-up form. Describe what they get out of joining and don’t be shy.
Or, maybe you offer a low-cost intro product that will help them move to the next level in their growth. At the very least, direct them toward another piece of content on your site to learn more.
Fresh Blog Content Doesn’t Require New Work
I hope you enjoyed these creative ways to update your blog content and give more value to your readers. Now, go pause that content creation hamster wheel and republish a few of your old articles in new ways!
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